The New Age of Not-So-Old Age

by Kerry Cue

Sacha Nauta (The New Age of Longevity, The Economist, 6 JUL 2017) commented that the aging population should be seen as a boon not some Doomsday scenario for the economy. While increasing numbers of 60-plus population still work, even if part-time, the stereotype of the retiree has not shifted since Simone De Beavoir’s day. Retirees were either sponging off society or of no use to it.

Nauta claims that a new definition for the 60-plus age group is long over due. Childhood, she explained, was reclaimed in the 18OOs. (The 1833 Factory Act, UK, banned children under 9 years of age from working.) Teenagers did not exist by name until the 1940s. In 1944 Life magazine insisted that teen-agers made up ‘a big and special market’.

So now it is time to rename and reclaim the 60-plus years. Nauta suggests NYPPIES (Not Yet Past It) or OWLS (Older, Working Less, Still earning). Whatever name eventually gets taken up by the culture, let’s make it positive, a name that makes growing old look ‘cool’ to the young.

I suggest ROCrRs. (Really Old. Can Really Rock.)

After Retirement a New Career

by Dimity Reed

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purple quote 1Imagination creates reality.purple quote 2

……………………..Richard Wagner, Composer1813 – 1883.

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Having spent around 40 really terrific years as an architect and having rarely thought about age, my 70th birthday appeared just as a marvellous urban renewal project which had involved me for four years finished. So there were a few free moments there to contemplate how I might entertain myself, and possibly others, for what could be another 20 years.

Then, one evening, after a slightly boozy dinner, a musicologist friend asked if we wanted to go to a lecture he was giving the following day on how we humans turn sound into music. That invitation became a new life, and not just for me. We went and were so mesmerised by his ideas and presentation that I rang our youngest filmmaker son (there are a few in the family), Sam, and suggested he attend the next talk.
 He did and afterwards asked our mate, Heath Lees, if he were interested in doing a television series on music and how we hear it. He was.

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They talked for a while and agreed to talk more. Then Sam asked if I were interested in producing the series. I replied (with a rare meekness) that I knew nothing about film production. “Ah”, said Sam, “You’d be very good at it.” I don’t know about you, but in my parental experience flattery is quite unusual, so I immediately said ‘Yes’. And in early 2012 became a virgin film producer.

Screen Grab from Wagner's Ring  - A Tale Told in Music

Screen Grab from Wagner’s Ring
– A Tale Told in Music

Heath wrote a script, we hired the Salon at the Melbourne Recital Centre, put a great crew together and shot a 16 minute teaser in a week. Sam edited it and I took it to a producer in Sydney for advice. The advice was good but unexpected, “Wagner’s 4 opera Ring cycle is on in Melbourne in 2013 and Heath Lees is a world expert on Wagner. He’s a brilliant communicator so put More To Music aside and do something on The Ring.”

A screen grab from Wagner's Ring - A Tale Told in Music

A screen grab from Wagner’s Ring –
A Tale Told in Music

Heath, Sam and I took the advice and started work on four films, one on each of the Ring operas in September 2012. The scripts were written, money raised, brilliant crew again employed, wondrous singers involved and a month shooting in Europe happened. The films were completed and ready for sale in September 2013 (Available online here).

Dimity Reed, Film Editor

Dimity Reed, Film Editor

None of it was easy but it was glorious fun and the films are magical. Working with very talented people is one of life’s joys and everyone involved in Wagner’s Ring: A Tale Told in Music was hugely talented, hard-working, generous and fun.

So now we’re back where we stated, working on More To Music. And this, I think, is what the politicians call moving forward.

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Dimity Reed,  Architecture Ambassador , 2008

Dimity Reed, Architecture Ambassador , 2008

Dimity Reed’s CV includes architect, author, Professor of Urban Design at RMIT University, Board Member and Councillor of the City of St Kilda, but at 70 years of age she found a new career as Managing Director of Mad Woman Productions. Her book, Tangled Destinies – the National Museum of Australia, was published in 2002.

 

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We cannot let others define aging for us.

….We must, as we have done before,

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…………….redefine this stage for ourselves.

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What the media doesn’t tell you!

Frankly, my dear, they’re over you!

the-tibertine-sibylIf you have found little of interest in the lifestyle pages across all media platforms, there is a reason. After 54-years of age we are of no interest to Marketing. Apparently, we are ‘too set in our ways’. So, apart from some tragic and cheap ads spruiking pre-paid funerals and incontinence pads, we do not attract the advertising dollar. Therefore editors of magazines, newspapers, websites and blogs aimed at women couldn’t care less about our issues.

There are lots of ads for dubious anti-aging and slimming products, much like the 1950s ads (below) but with their own Facebook Page. But the anti-wrinkle creams and slimming products do not target us. They are aimed at 40, 30 and even 20 year olds. They have more to fear from aging and being overweight than us.50s chin strap We’ve already had to face certain realities. Besides, we’ve been applying goops for 40+ years and we must have tried scores of diets with little success!!! We’ll look at the real science ( and not the ‘radiessence’ or ‘luminosity’) of face creams and rubbish diets later.

But there are many issues such as health, sex and self-perception that change after 54 years of age and that we want to discuss. If you are looking at retirement and your daughter wants the BIG wedding, do you have to pay for it? What if you are divorced? What if it’s her 2nd wedding?

How do you deal with a neurotic daughter-in-law? Or a control-freak son-in-law? Or vice-versa?

Cole Swimsuit Ad 1953 And we wanted those curves!

Cole Swimsuit Ad 1953
And we wanted those curves!

Are you prepared to look after grandchildren one day a week? Two days? How would you react if your daughter handed you a spread sheet scheduling every minute of that one day?

If you didn’t have children, are you now being swamped by the 2nd wave of child-centric conversations as your friends become grandparents?

Moreover, how did any of us even produce children with the hilariously vague ‘sex education‘ we received in the 60s or 70s?

We, The Sibyls, are smart, vibrant and interesting women. It is the intention of this blog to reinvent aging. We’re doing this for ourselves. Welcome.

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